Two weeks ago, Hershey's won kudos for not changing Cadbury’s Crème Egg recipe after the U.K.'s decades-old version was tinkered with.
Now the chocolate maker is turning some stomachs for suing the company that brings authentic British Cadbury Crème Eggs in the U.S.
The chocolate giant filed a trademark infringement suit in a Pennsylvania court against LBB Imports, which brings British candy to the U.S., claiming that the imports too closely resemble candies produced by Hershey’s.
Court documents state that the “orange wrappers on British Toffee Crisp candies are too similar to wrappers on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups” and “England's Yorkie chocolate bars should also be forbidden, because they are too similar in name to Hershey's York Peppermint Patties,” reports DNA Info.
And when it comes to Crème Eggs, Hershey says that since they hold exclusive rights to produce these in the U.S., the sale of the original British variety should be banned.
Companies who sell the British imports cater to customers who say the candies are made differently and therefore taste superior. English-themed eatery Tea & Sympathy, in New York City’s SoHo district, is one shop that buys from these suppliers. They are outraged that they may no longer be able to bring the U.K.-made treats to expats and local fans.
"It's just another thing to make everybody miserable," Nicky Perry, the owner of the tea shop, told DNA Info. "Why are we having a fight about chocolate? I mean, chocolate!"
Those looking for the British version will likely have to turn to subversive means to get them if Hershey’s suit is successful.
"You know what’s behind it [the lawsuit] right?" said Perry. "Hershey’s doesn’t want people to eat Cadbury’s, because Cadbury’s is so much better, people aren’t going to be buying their filth."
But not everyone agrees that theU.K. version is better. Chocolate fans were up in arms after Kraft Foods and Mondelez International announced they would no longer be using Cadbury dairy milk in the Crème Egg recipe.
Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for Hershey’s said that as news of the lawsuit broke, LBB has already agreed to stop importing British Cadbury products.
"It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress," Beckman said.
"Hershey has always vigorously protected its brands and will continue to do so whenever we believe that others have infringed on these valuable intellectual assets."